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Cam Martin

Jags Coach Visits Ailing Bills Reporter

Allen Wilson of The Buffalo News has been battling chronic leukemia for more than three years. The longtime Buffalo sports columnist is being treated at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where he’s awaiting a bone-marrow transplant. He was recently visited by an unexpected guest: Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.

Del Rio was in Buffalo for a preseason game against the Bills, and when he heard about Wilson’s condition through a mutual friend, he paid Wilson a surprise visit. Bucky Gleason, a fellow reporter for The Buffalo News, said Del Rio’s gesture was much appreciated, and he thanked him in his Sunday column.

I planned to wait around for Del Rio after his news conference Saturday night to tell him how much he meant to several people, but work pulled me away. Deadlines are deadlines. What can I say?

Well, Jack, thank you for your care and class. Thank you for being one of many sports figures who visit hospitals or volunteer their time without asking for anything in return. Thank you for being much like the person you visited, a big man, a kind man, a teddy bear.

You don’t know me, but I think the world of you no matter your record. Guys like you deserve a Super Bowl. We’re rooting for something greater.

And it just a got a little dusty in here.

 

Keith Jackson and Dhani Jones to Host Shows on Big Ten Network

Hall of Fame broadcaster Keith Jackson and former Michigan star and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones will host respective shows on the Big Ten Network this fall, the channel announced today. Jackson will host a program called “Big Ten Icons” that looks at iconic coaches from Big Ten history. Last year “Big Tens Icons” (also hosted by Jackson) looked at the top 50 student-athletes in conference history. Jones will host “BTN LiveBIG,” one of the network’s six new shows this fall, which will spotlight current and former members of the Big Ten community who have given “big” to the world at large, including Tony Dungy (of Minnesota), Charles Woodson (of Michigan) and Devin Harris (of Wisconsin).

Jones’ show will premiere Monday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and run for eight episodes. Jackson’s show will premiere later in the fall, run into the winter, and air Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

BBC to Erect Three 600-inch HD TV Screens For London Olympics

The BBC has commissioned three custom-built, 600-inch public television screens that will air live footage of next year’s summer Olympics in London. The three televisions are under construction in Japan and will utilize the Japanese-innovated “Super Hi-Vision,” which will have a picture that is 16-times clearer than regular high definition. The Japanese public service broadcaster NHK is teaming up with the BBC to showcase this new technology. The televisions will be positioned in Bradford, England; Glasgow, Scotland; and in London.

NFL Network Moving Eisen Off 'Total Access'

Fans of Rich Eisen‘s podcast will be happy to learn the NFL Network is moving the popular personality off the Total Access weeknight show to focus more on his podcast, which is also now televised. Eisen only hosted Total Access once a week last year, so it’s not a huge shake-up, though the show will now be co-hosted by a rotation of analysts including Michael Irvin and Brian Billick.

Eisen will continue his game-day duties as host of the pregame and postgame shows for the network’s Thursday night games, and continue with his Sunday pregame duties and Sunday highlights.

Tebow and Brees to Appear on 'The Biggest Loser'

Tim Tebow might be the fourth-best quarterback on the Broncos, but he’s the only Denver signal-caller slated to appear on The Biggest Loser this season. Tebow will appear on the Oct. 4 episode of the popular weight-loss show, along with Drew Brees of the Saints and NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, among other NFL players. According to EW, some of the athletes will compete against contestants in a throwing contest, which should be interesting if Tebow is asked to hit anything outside the numbers. Some of the athletes will share their personal stories of overcoming adversity, and some of them will also help contestants with their “Last Chance Workout” before the final weigh-in.

“It’s not just some great athlete coming out and saying ‘Hey, look at me!’” says Biggest Loser exec producer Todd Lubin. “We actually get to their stories – and these NFL guys have unbelievable stories. Drew had a major debilitating injury, came back and won a Super Bowl, so his message was, ‘Whatever the adversity is, you’ve got to fight through it.’” Lubin also quips: “It’s a good chance to get the men to watch Biggest Loser alongside their wives.”

'World Peace' Postponed Till Artest Settles Traffic Violations

Ron Artest‘s bid to officially change his name to Metta World Peace has been postponed until Sept. 16 at the earliest as the Lakers small forward has outstanding traffic violations — doled out to the person he’s still legally known as. Apparently officials in Los Angeles felt it was necessary to wait until today — Metta World Peace day — to rain on everyone’s parade.

Former Coaches Go Back to Their High Schools in New ESPN Series

Starting Sunday SportsCenter will follow four former coaches and current ESPN talking heads as they visit their old high schools. “Back to School” will feature Mike Ditka returning to Aliquippa, Pa.; Herm Edwards going back to Monterey, Calif.; Lou Holtz visiting East Liverpool, Ohio; and Lee Corso heading back to Miami, Florida. Unfortunately it will not feature any clips from the Rodney Dangerfield movie.

In addition to making surprise visit to their old schools, the four coaches visited some of their favorite hometown spots and shared time with family and friends.

“What these ‘Back to School’ features do is allow viewers to see where these guys got their start – both on the field and off – and provide our former coaches a chance to go back and interact with the community they grew up in,” said Glenn Jacobs, ESPN senior coordinating producer.

The schedule goes like this: Holtz on SportsCenter Sunday at 10 a.m.; Corso, Monday at 9 a.m.; Edwards, Tuesday at 9 a.m.; and Ditka, Wednesday at 9 a.m.

 

Artest Officially 'Metta World Peace' as of Today

Take note, media members: From this day forward, the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest should henceforth be called “Metta World Peace” in all news stories. Yes, Artest’s name change becomes official today. “Metta” is a Buddhist term for “kindness,” while “world peace” is what Rita and Phil toast to in “Groundhog Day.”

Artest is also reportedly changing his uniform number from 15 to 70.

“I’m changing it to 70 because it’s like something to do with the universe,” Artest said. “Everything kind of repeats itself. The universe is one. It’s the same thing. Healthy minds, just keeping the kids positive.”

Video: Anderson Silva Lip-Syncs Burger King Ad

UFC middleweight champion Anderson “Spider” Silva is a bad man. It’s yet to be determined if he’s a bad singer, as the Brazilian native lip syncs “Lovin’ You,” the familiar standard by Minne Riperton, in this Burger King commercial.

This Saturday Silva defends his crown against Yushin Okami in UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(H/T to 5th Round)

Jeter Splits from Minka Kelly

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Charlie’s Angels actress Minka Kelly have reportedly split up after three years, news that wouldn’t be relevant here if one half of this equation weren’t a future Hall of Fame shortstop with a track record of dating some of contemporary society’s most attractive actresses and singers. Jeter has been linked to Scarlett Johansson, Jordana Brewster, Mariah Carey, among others.

Recent speculation said Jeter and Kelly were headed for marriage, but that seems less likely now. Rest assured Jeter and Kelly’s faces will be on the covers of People, Us Weekly and numerous other tabloids this week (“What happened!?!?”), not to mention the back page of tomorrow’s New York tabloid newspapers. Obviously we’re most eager to hear what Michael Kay has to say about the matter.

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